Dual-channel performance with the second generation Sandy Bridge processors just rocks, well rocks extremely hard. In fact at 1600 MHz this dual-channel kit tested today is slightly faster overall compared to a triple channel setup at 1333 MHz, the reality is also that most of you would get that triple channel setup at 1600+ MHz as well, well at least I would. And that's the grand equalizer again of course. But dual-channel on a Series 6 Intel chipset motherboard in combo with any Nehalem based processor including Sandy Bridge, well just hauls massive as.
The DIMMs we tested today are high-density 4GB DIMM modules. Yep, 4GB crammed onto one DIMM. And as such it is impressive to see that this kit can easily keep up with competing DIMMs thanks to it's nice 1600 MHz frequency and low latency timings. Ideally on X58, you should go for a triple channel 4GB DIMM kit, G.Skill offers these kits as well.
Obviously the kit tested today is targeted at the latest series 5 and 6 Intel motherboard solutions that allow 1600 MHz on that memory, and that's where this 8 GB kit really is golden. Overclocking wise you can take the memory to roughly 1866 MHz on CAS 9, maybe even 8 on the same 1.65 Volts. But for that you'll need a 1st generation Nehalem processor like say a Core i7 975/950 etc as these can be tweaked on the bus speed better. That's a no-no for Sandy bridge where you can only overclock on the processor multiplier. At the tweaking stage your command rate needs to come down to 2T though. Other then that do not expect to go much higher, this is high density memory and that often complicated really stretched memory tweaks and overclocks.
In modern day PCs with a dual-channel configuration 4 Gigabyte of memory is the new norm. But just look back say three of years, 1 GB was then the norm. Our PCs have an excruciating thirst for memory and at the prices offered in today's hardware climate, my advice is simple; chuck and load that PC full with memory. Even if you don't really need it right now, you will definitely need it say a year maybe two from now. It is the wise investment to make, at very little cost. The folks that benefit from more memory right way are the ones focused at content creation, transcoding and overall work with software like Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, it there where 8GB already really is recommended.
And that will be the conclusion, 8GB is not at all yet needed, but does come recommended in a dual-channel memory configuration. We find the G.Skill Sniper 8GB CL7 1600 MHz kit really impressive and affordable. The CAS7 kit sells for 120 and 82,61 for the CAS9 version. At these prices you just can't go wrong really and with XMP support you just pop them in a good brand motherboard like ASUS, MSI or Gigabyte, flock on the BIOS XMP switch and boom, your memory runs at advertised speeds at 1600 MHz/CAS7.
We enjoyed testing the kit and on our MSI Z68A-GD80 motherboard have not even had to experience the slightest hiccup. A lovely kit for a really fair price, that's what the Sniper kits offer.
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